Players Pictured L/R: Ciara Moloney, Stephen Hearst, David Noone, Rory Byrne (Captain), Gordon Harpur, Niamh Maher, Niamh Brennan,:
It was a great weekend of squash in Edinburgh with the Irish select team (4 Men and 3 Ladies). The objective for this event is to help develop the emerging Irish players and expose them to International test match squash providing a player pathway into the A events. This was achieved where the games were all extremely competitive and while the results were not in our favour it was a huge learning experience for all the Irish players. Last year we came close to winning the event, this time around we suffered the loss of our number 1 Sean Conroy which put pressure on the players to move up the team order, our thanks to Gordon Harpur who answered the call and travelled up to Edinburgh late on Friday evening.
Some results of note included Rory Byrne with a fine win over Doug Kempsall (PSA ranking of 99) which according to David Noone was the best he has even seen Rory play and a real highlight of the weekend. Gordon Harpur also picked up a comprehensive win 3.0 in the same fixture but overall Ireland lost 5.2. It was a step up in standard for Stephen but according to team captain he acquired himself very well and the experience will help benefit him no doubt. David Noone and Gordon both were competitive in the two remaining fixtures and both stretched their opponents but fell short in their matches.
Wales and Scotland sent out two very strong teams with travelling professionals at 1 and 2. The competition itself was run professionally with tournament referees which created a very competitive atmosphere. When asked for feedback David Noone reflected that this competition is a great stepping stone for myself and other squash players attempting to compete in an international event in May and I hope to be part of it next year when it is hosted in Ireland.
There were lessons learned from participating in the event which we can take in consideration for next season and look for improvements accordingly.
Irish Sport HQ
Sport Ireland Campus